The growing use of images by historians is strewn with pitfalls that are not always self-evident. The purpose of an image, its comprehensibility, its audience, the conventions that it observes, and the traditions that it accepts are among many features that can skew its ostensible message. Much about a period or situation can be learned that is otherwise not accessible, but caution is necessary when pictures, artifacts, or buildings are used as historical evidence.

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